2012 and beyond

world astrology for 2012

It’s all in the stars

by Mac McLaughlin

• I guess we’re holding our collective breath as we ponder the significance of the much-anticipated apocalyptic date of December 21, 2012. The Mayan calendar ends on that date and all kinds of predictions have sprung up. Some say the world will end and others believe Armageddon is in the works. Some chime in with the idea that a great spiritual transformation may take place. God will return and all will be well. It is thought the events that take place at the end of the Mayan calendar will lead us in a new direction. Supposedly, the mysterious planet Nibiru will crash into the Earth on this date or brush quite close to it causing a polar shift. Its impact will change life on Earth, etc, etc. My head is spinning and I need a nap. I have drawn a horoscope for the moment of the winter solstice on December 21, 2012 and outside of the Sun aligning with the galactic centre not much more is going on. There is no planetary line-up to worry about. Nibiru is not in sight and, as far as I’m concerned, God never left the planet and there is no need to return to a place you are already at.

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You say yes, I say no

embracing uncertainty in vaccine policy

DRUG BUST by Alan Cassels

• The people’s briefing note on prescription drugs

I have to make an admission: I’m somewhat of a coward in that I’m not particularly crazy about getting in the middle of a war. That’s why I don’t really like writing about vaccines; there are few things in healthcare as polarizing, fiercely debated and spiked with invective as the topic of vaccines. As I write this, Israel is bombing Gaza and militants are firing missiles back into Israel.

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Nature’s genius

SCIENCE MATTERS by David Suzuki

• When I canoe or hike along the edge of lakes or oceans and see trees that seem to be growing out of rock faces, I am blown away. How do they do it? Think about a seed. Once it lands, it’s stuck. It can’t move to find better soil, moisture or sunlight. It’s able to create every part of itself to grow and reproduce. After it sprouts and sends out roots and leaves, other species want to eat it. It can’t run, hide or fight back. It’s a wonder trees are able to survive at all, yet they can flourish and live for hundreds of years. They’re evolutionary wonders that have developed a bag of chemical tricks to ward off predators, infections, storms, fires and ways to communicate and even share scarce resources. In Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park, I saw a tree that is reputed to “walk!”

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Silver Linings Playbook

FILMS WORTH WATCHING by Robert Alstead

• There’s a point early on in off-beat romcom Silver Linings Playbook where the protagonist, Pat, who has been feverishly reading Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell To Arms through the night, picks up the book in a fit of rage and hurls it straight through the top floor window of his parents’ house. It lands with a slap and the tinkling of broken glass on the darkened sidewalk below. He really didn’t like that story’s ending.

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